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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  December 16, 2013 7:30pm-8:01pm EST

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>> hi, i'm lisa fletcher, and you're in "the stream." so you think you're a patriot, but are you really a pawn? how a demand for made in america is transforming the marketplace, and why you need to look beyond the label. >> our digital producer, raj is here, and raj, americans spend everything fro from apparel to
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zucchini. zucchini only one of these was made in america, and can you guess which one? and you asked an interesting question. are you a patriot or a pawn? pawn. >> all right, well americans do obsess over labels. one or the other made in the usa. nearly 80% of the u.s. would rather buy american made products, and the majority are even willing to pay more. nostic manufacturing is increasing.
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>> it helps us support our businesses in the usa. >> it keeps jobs in america. >> it keeps our workers here and keeps our country going. >> keep the opportunity here, and keep the business here. >> keeping americans employed is about the most important thing we can do. >> countries once condemned for outsourcing are being applauded for in-sourcing. the manufacturing that faded from the landscape for decades, now is up to 12 million and is expected to expand in 2014. and meanwhile, the demand for imports is decreasing. but critics warn that reduced demand could reduce options, and may not lead to more jobs, and the other concern, fraud. frauding off of patriotism. recently they settled a lawsuit that claimed that their products
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were truly made in the usa and they were not. it was not any of the companies that you just saw in that shot of the but who benefits now that america is back in fashion in and how do you keep from being duped? he works at the kato institute. and fraud policy. and david is creative officer with the marketing agency that supports resurgeness in american manufacturing. welcome to the stream. so dave, for a lot of americans, walking up to the register with something proudly made in america makes you feel like you're doing your part to help american companies and keeping american jobs. does made in the usa really mean made in the usa? >> it depends on how you define it. if you go by the fcc, it's fairly rigid. i have a terrible echo, but made
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in the usa is often something that companies leverage, and in fact, it may not be made in the usa at all. and that's a travesty. but the flipside, sometimes things are made in the usa in part. imagine the suit that's made with italian fabric, but the cut and sew is in this country, and it's partially a good thing. so there needs to be inclusion in this. >> why does it matter. >> for three reasons, local tax, and local jobs, and there's a sense that wages are under pressure because they have been, and that the economy is losing alongside of the united states, but in a lot of people's minds, people are buffeted around by market being campaigns, and most people, unlike most companies, feel like they have some sort of duty first to buy things produced by fellow americans >> so dan, you called the
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campaign, made in the usa reckless nationalism, and why that? >> i wanted them to be more inclusive about what it means. if you want to spend your money on things made in america, it general leaf costs more, and you'll have fewer resources to buy other things. and if people have to deal with imports, you are undermining u.s. companies because there's a lot undermining u.s. imports, and foreigners will not be able to buy u.s. exports. let's talk about the aggregate. >> our followers are on twitter, comments on what it means it them:
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dave, i'm going back to you with this, you you heard dan talk about the reckless nationalism. and why is it important to you that american products be purchased by americans? >> it's not our position that all things should be made in the usa and exported to planet earth. it's a global economy for a lot of reasons. it's better when, in most cases, something is consumed close it where it's manufactured, because
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you shorten supply ties, and cut down on the carbon footprint. and reduce times with manufacturing and the r&d that needs to be there as well. and even the education to supply workers for what will be more modern manufacturing. so i agree that it should not be nationalistic. but we need balance. you know, things that our manufacturing sector has been hollowed out to the detriment of people who live here, and we're just asking for balance, not a situation where everything is made here. >> max, in a second i want to get to you about the advantage of advertising made in the usa. but first, dave, i want you to pick out some frauds for us here. you know how valuable it is for companies to put that made in america label on their product. this one says designed, assembled and finished with pride in phoenix, arizona with
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domestic and imported materials, and what does it mean. >> i have to be honest with you and i don't think that's that bad. you know what's great about that? they're giving you the information. and most of the time its shrouded. so they're telling you that the materials are sourced from elsewhere, but there are jobs in the assembly and the making of the final product. would it be better if the materials were from here? sure, but it's great that any of the jobs are here. but what i find more unbe consciencable, you'll see converse plastering american flags all over everything. and levis does that, and they're leveraging the popularity of made in usa. i bought a bed online, the actual claim was breathe to life in l.a. and there was no more information about anything else. turns out that the bed was made in china. and that's the worst thing. >> so max, who is taking
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advantage of this made in usa label and why? >> probably a lot of people are, and probably a lot are upping the price, based on the consumption that people will pay more, and it's worth more, which is not the case. the discussion here is to lump the whole world into meaningless differentiated blob, but there are countries where the wages may be higher than the u.s. but anyone who has a falsely made in the u.s. claim or is marking it up above what it needs to be because it's made in the usa is undermining the u.s. economy and leveraging people with their patriotic duty. >> i would like to support what was just said about the price. everybody assumes that the price is higher. >> hang on. we're going to get into that in a second, dave. i'm going to put on you pause.
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>> so the community is responding to this: dan, talk us about the need for standards here. should there been labeling in the regulation? >> i think people should be know where their products come from. i'm aware of schemes that put the onus on the foreign producers for cost and segregating goods that go into production. if somebody wants to put made in america, they should incur the cost to put that on. and i want to bring up the point
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about manufacturing. there's this premise that u.s. manufacturing is in duress and it's downward for a long time. but the fact is that u.s. manufacturing is thriving and it has been thriving since the second world war, and we have had recessions, where the value has gone down, but what they tend to inflate is jobs in america. 12 million, and the manufacturing sector itself is doing very well, making great profits and revenues, and we need to point that out. >> we're going to come back, and the made in america label means money for manufacturers, but what about the community? and what happens when those jobs leave? we're going to introduce you to a filmmaker.
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>> how important is the future of manufacturing industry? >> you're talking about something that's very complex. >> made in america equals jobs in america. >> welcome back. you're watching scenes from the documentary, made in the usa, a 30-day journey, it's a look at the workforce and consumers, and john paid that documentary, and he got interested in where the goods we buy come from after a plant closed in his hometown, and welcome to the show. >> thanks for having me, appreciate it. >> so talk about how the closing
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of that plant impacted you and the community. >> well, the film sparred from century aluminum shutting down in my hometown in virginia, and 650 people lost their jobs, including my father-in-law, david nelson, and as time went on, it destroyed our local and regional economy. and as i started to see that in our community, it started to make me think about where our products are made. and it set me off on this journey to find out if made in the usa meant anything anymore >> and on this journey, you decided you were going to live on made in the usa only for 30 days, and at what point was that harder than you thought. >> i found out at the beginning with electronics. i want you to watch my film, but i went about 13 days without any electronics, and it was really tough, finding clothes, i had to sleep on the floor because all of the beds were made overseas.
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a lot of things. >> they didn't fill you in on that one. so max, when operations shut down and they sometimes move overseas, we hear that it's often because it costs less, but it seems that that only uses one metric, the direct cost to the manufacturer, and are consumers getting the idea that it costs less when they move overseas? >> part of it is global market changing. and the growth is demanded overseas. people don't just produce in china because it is more expensive. but they are interested in 1.2 billion people, there's technological change, and a lot of things that shift around here, but we should ac knowledge that when production comes to a place, it's good news, and it tends to be devastating for stakeholders much like the one we just heard.
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>> units are watered about jobs. on twitter, it will help workers, if there's a move. consumers to only buy made enough usa products, it will push factories back to the united states. spencer says: dan, i'm going to go with you. productivity is up, and wages have come down, and suppose we start importing from other manufacturers, and what will this mean to the future of other workers in america? >> there's a lot of in-sourcing going right now. there are a lot of u.s. companies resourcing back here. and as the other guests mentioned, those investment decisions are in response to the business climate here, to the regulatory climate. the united states, in 1999, got
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up to 41% of the world's foreign investments, and now it accounts for 15% in 2011. part of that explanation is that the rest of the world is growing, and there are viable investments, and the other, we're repelling investments. we have too many regulations and a tax system that encourages companies to go offshore and keep profits offshore. and we have disappropriation that didn't exist. there's a lot of uncertainty in the u.s. and survey over survey, you see the u.s. standing globally shrinking. if we want to attract jobs, we need to do a better job competing for that investment. i'm not exactly sure how many jobs will come back. we have added a few hundred thousand manufacturing jobs in the last years, but the ratio between manufacturing output and jobs needed for that output has
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changed dramatically in the past decades, so we don't have too much hope. >> max, any incentives for american manufacturing? >> sure, there are incentives to have manufacturing here and there, but it's absolutely true that our government has actually rewarded companies for taking jobs overseas and doing manufacturing overseas, and initially, we have a bizarre disconnect here in the united states. we have a very high corporate tax rate. 35% in the u.s., higher than most companies. and on the other hand, our large companies don't pay anything near that. they pay about half of that. we have this 35% tax rate, but the reality is that no large corporations pay it. so it means that small and mid-sized companies often have a lot of trouble because they're the ones who have to pay it. >> speaking of these companies, in january, wal-mart made a
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$50 billion commitment to bring additional u.s. products into its stores over the years, and i pulled that up on the screen. the three points, they're going to grow business in the u.s. with the suppliers they're already working with, and attracting new suppliers, and shifting existing items to other country. now, max, talk about the impact that one corporation can have by making a $50 billion investment like this. >> not all corporations are going to have the largest impact like wal-mart. they're the largest in the united states, they're 'very international company. wal-mart grew to its prominence with china manufacturing. so at its peak in the 1990s, wal-mart was distributing 10% of the industry of china. and it could have a large impact, particularly on certain communities. the annettedotal joke, they were
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at one point selling flags than made in korea. >> with wal-mart, we met with wal-mart. and here's what i'll say about wal-mart. sure, they were a problem in the beginning, and i like to look at them as darth vader, and the mask comes off and it's that cool old guy and you don't want him to die. wal-mart, they're not apologetic about it, but when they make a change for business reasons, it has an enormous effect and by-product. so my faith in wal-mart creating a new middle class exceeds that of the government doing it. they decided that the trucks going to wal-mart had to meet a certain miles per gallon. not because of the environment but they knew today save them money. and as a result, it changed the trucking industry overnight. if you don't make a truck that can go to wal-mart, you're out
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of business. as a result of that, we have more environmental trucks. wal-mart says, if you can meet as a company, the landing costs of competing in asia, and you put in the rising costs and shipping costs, they have the incentive for this to happen. and their customers are going to find that american things are more affordable when they're at wal-mart. so i think that wal-mart could do an enormous amount of good though that be the first reason they're doing it. >> dave? >> i really think that changing the landscape has been created from consumer demand as well, and a lot of people underestimate the power that have. you see ford bringing 5,000 jobs back. and the chevy camero is going to be made in lansing, michigan, and the change in wal-mart. and consumers are standing up and they want to see things made in america because it represents quality and it lasts. for so long, we have been
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importing so many things, and i think there's a lot to be said about consumer demand and that's changing the landscape as well. >> you set up our next segment personnel. because we want to talk about consumer activists, and if our shopping habits can change the way we shop.
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>> welcome, this is part of a video from source mask. and it shows the supply chain for certain computers. and dan, talking about the rising demand for american products, is it realistic, given the complexity of the global economy at this point. >> you know, i think we'll see manufacturing continue to increase its value added. and doing quite well, accounting for 22% of global value add the. and is that going to increase jobs? i'm not sure. they produce high end stuff. and people say, all of the stuff made in the united states, and china and brazil and vietnam.
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and u.s. manufacturers are not likely going to be making those products. they make the pharmaceuticals and the chemicals and the airplanes, and i think that to a certain extent, we're primarily a service economy. we spend 2/3 on services and not goods. so as i said earlier, if we spend more money on goods, we'll have less to spend on services like massages and haircuts and education. >> josh, i want to get to something you were talking about before the break. to quote john mackey's book title, conscience capitalism, it speaks broadly to this shift that we're seeing in america, and if people are thinking more critically and closely about where the products they consume come from. is that something that you felt on this 30-day journey? >> of course. when i was traveling, i had an overwhelming response. people really believe that made in america equals jobs made in
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america. and on my thought on a former segment, you talk about regulations and free trade, we can go into all of these different talking points, but my main message of the film is simple. consumer demand can change the course of this country, and i think if that's a simple message that you can follow without getting tappinged up with all of these tree trade and fair trade regulations, people can follow them. and that's why they're responding so well to my film. >> responding to global citizens and awareness. taylor, factory labor conditions, u.s. brands like nike and panasonic, it causes people to think twice before buying them. and is there a comeback? speaking of sustain ability,
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dave, we'll go to you with this. how will consumer activism be sustainable and long-term? ensure that it goes beyond helping with american products and american workers, but also helps the environment and social issues? >> here's why it's going to work. i have to remove these. the reason it's going to work, there's a connection to the consumer themselves. if you look at a model where i buy shoes, and someone in africa gets shoes, the reason is that it continues to succeed. and the person feels it's personal. i do not want to poison myself. if you buy american, so many have been affected by this. either they lost a job or they know someone, and there's a direct correlation between buying things here and helping the economy. so it's personal. if you know arguably that your house may be worth more down the road if you buy something, it's
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powerful. >> look at detroit, look at rural america. look at those places around the country. people are not going to forget soon. look at my hometown, it was destroyed by the aluminum plant leaving. people are not going to forget this. and i really think made in america is back. >> all right, that is all of the time that we have for this discussion. david and daniel and max. thank you for joining us and until then, raj and i will see you at aljazeera.com.
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good evening. welcome to "al jazeera america." i'm john seigenthaler in new york. the federal judge says the phone call spying program is probably unconstitutional and has not helped stop terrorism. spending to save syria. the u.n. warns of a tremendous humanitarian crisis and says it needs $6 billion to help. unfinished business. tomorrow the senate begins the debate on the budget to keep the government open another two years. it's already approved by the house. plus record changer. beyonce's sneak release of a surprise album that shakes up the music industry.

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